Monday, September 17, 2007

I want to do something that matters...

{NOTE: I posted this on my regular blog, i'm not sure if it belongs here, but it's something to, hehe, 'think' about.}

I think that's something we can all say about our lives. And yet, i look at the people around me, live, work, sleep, and die around me, and i don't think that they would all be able to say that.

More time than i'd like to admit is spent in the observation of others and i've come to find (and have been confirmed in numerous conversations with my peers of higher-than-average intelligence) that quote "normal people" don't seem have the desire to learn, understand, utilize, infer, reason, perceive, wonder, ponder, application and production desires that i, or even my friends, have.

Even i get tired of thinking, of questioning things i'll never fully understand, and take joy in doing something merely for the simplest of pleasures. I revel in banality at times; early to bed early to rise, 1 protein 1 starch 1 vegetable; and live under a blanket of the unrelenting cliches we pride ourselves on breaking free of. Yet, in those moments, however long they be, there's an unspoken understanding that it will not last forever. This understanding, i believe, is from a deep and personal desire to not only analyze the cliche, but to also change it, make it unique, stamp it as my own creation, and in doing so, lift it up beyond the mundane and hope to inspire others to do the same as well.

I don't believe that anything you think or want can be wrong. I must, of course, preface that with my belief that how you act upon those thoughts and desires can be inappropriate when negatively affecting others (although that, in it of itself, provides a huge spectrum of grey, those shades and tones i don't wish to discuss now)and that can be considered wrong. But, as graphic and beastly as it may be to say, for whatever demented reason, if you think you'd like to kill someone in the most masochistic way and not act upon it, i think that's completely fine. But i digress...

All my life i've been astounded by what humans in all our glory have come up with. The smallest painting of DaVinci, or Dali if you prefer, a passage of Emily Dickinson, it is incredible to think of how any of it came about. We have the power to rearrange atoms, to create, to destroy, to move, and to form, and call it what you will (a muse, inspiration, or even despair) it all begins with a single thought; A thought to pick up a brush, to get our of a chair, to light a match, to take a breath in preparation to speak... Every single wonderful, amazing, great, unbelieveable, beautiful, disgusting, shameful, hopeful thing we've ever done starts with a thought.

So when i say i want to do something that matters, i first do it for myself. I take the banal and make it unique, make it my own. And then i want to do the thing that would seem like it would be the easiest thing in the world to do... make someone think. And it usually is... you smile, someone thinks "aww, how nice", "wow, she's cute", "he looks like a happy person" but the true art is in getting them to think about what you personally want them to think about. I want to make others think about making ways for others to make others think about making ways for others think about making ways for others to make others think and so on and so forth.

Ahh, now how to do THAT? Well my friends, THAT is the hard part. Maybe what matters most is to strive for the answer to THAT question. And in doing so, in questioning the questions that have always and never been questioned, by getting you to question, maybe that can be my something that matters.


Evan Bacon said...

The most difficult part of any journey is that first step in the right direction.

I don't mean for that to sound cliché (even though it is), but that making the first move toward something that matters is always the toughest.

Even if you know what it is that you want to do, there is always a nagging feeling that maybe nobody will understand. Maybe nobody will notice. Maybe nobody will care.

But pushing past these thoughts is important when going on the road of self discovery. You are not going to create something that necessarily has to be meaningful to anybody other than yourself. If it touches your own heart, then you have done a good job. If it touches somebody else's heart, then you have done phenomenally well!

SnrIncognito said...

The snobbish frustration that becomes associated with intellectualism and artistic creation i think is a noble one.

the snobbish aspect is less desirable, but the frustration i think comes from the sense that human potential greatly exceeds human achievement.

what i think is so great about this sense of disapproval is that it grows out of an intense appreciation of what already exists. it's a love of many things and a sense of joy at seeing passions realized. we are frustrated when we swear we can see that things could be better.

it can be distressing when we look around and see others not frustrated because it can imply one of two things: that they do not see the wonder in the world clearly enough to see when it's missing, or that they see the world's grace as it is but do not see the potential that is not actualized.

now, this is easily not the case. it could be that truly wise people see the process of change as it happens, and are patient. it could be that those who are truly loving see value in everything and do not see that the world needs to change much to be ideal, that this world is as good as it needs be. but what thoughtful people fear, i think, is that those who do not question and strive to change do not see the faults of the way things are. without seeing the problem, there can be no movement toward solution.

what can be depressing to me is that i fear that people who don't desire to break molds and incite criticism may not because they see no potential. they are exhausted, unfulfilled, heartbroken, or just plain scared. it's all some can do to be happy now. there is no grand utopia or ideal ballance. there's just pain or no pain.

realistically, i think few fall into this category. i think most people see their children and the clouds with happy appreciation. but it is worth wishing we all sought what was possible. i think it's appropriate to demand nothing less than all our bests.

Anonymous said...

I think the Greeks had their teleology right when they emphasized that it isn't what you think or say that makes you who you are - it's what you do.

But going on your initial intro paragraph, I believe that everyone does want to do something that matters, with an emphasis on "want." Whether or not they actually "do" is really what's up for debate here.

This also brings me back to what Stiles said earlier: "We've graduated from the world of enforced conformity and into the world of voluntary conformity."

Have we? Or is recognizing our condition something that might help?

I think it's slightly different. Our desire to accomplish more than just to get by I think stems from growing up during massive, unspoken polarizations, whether those be political, technological, or even that of now taking for granted the questioning gender roles (I see Evan's ears perking up!).

I did a little bit of research to see if we really do count as this so-called Generation Y - but it turns out that there are distinct markers and we all exist on a cusp - that is, being technologically nativized but also having grown up at the same lifespan of the interwebs.

We're a cusp - the last of Gen X to feel lost and the first of Gen Y to feel omnipresent. We're sometimes called Generation C; but I mean all this is neither here nor there. (well, actually, it's here.)

My point is that we understand this new capability of communication - but only so much translates to actually getting to do. We can say more easily now more than ever - in history, at that.

So my question is, how does this translate to doing? And what can we do that takes it to Mahea's step, of affecting the world around us?